[Editor: This is especially of interest to those who do now and did at any time in the past 25 years ago or so live in Scottsdale because Scottsdale residents voted THEMSELVES a tax increase to provide money to purchase land in the Sonoran desert, now known as the Sonoran Preserve.  The point was to preserve that land against development of any kind except necessary services: water, trails, parking, etc.  Now the Scottsdale City Council, except for one member, Guy Phillips, is ready to sell out the voters of Scottsdale so the developers can build a humongous "discover center."  They will then be required to have their tax money (remember, the city was so broke the last couple of years they floated bond issues to pay for necessary services and maintenance!] go to pay approximately $1million a year for maintenance and upkeep of the development.]

September 26 was a very very good day for the Citizens and a very very bad day for DDCS.

 

And the Business Plan Took a Beating


The day got worse for Campana and her Consultants, their business plan got hammered by City Council  at the 9-26 Workstudy. The Scottsdale Independent again provided detailed nuanced coverage, showing a thoroughly divided Council and lack of support. 

Sam Campana continues to flail when her financials are challenged. At 1:19:00during the Council meeting she states:

“There would be about 306,000 people attending annually, that’s about half the number of people that go to the Desert Botanical Garden in a Chihuly year, that’s about half the number of people that go to the Butterfly Wonderland, and about half the number of people that go to the Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum down in Tucson. So we think that is a very defensible number.”

Here is the video snippet.  But there are huge innaccuracies with Sam's statements.

1. The business plan in Table VI-3 cites the Garden at 380,000 attendance, and the Desert Museum at 356,000. Both 50% lower than Campana's "defensible number." Why are DDCS' attendance projections not also 50% lower, closer to 200,000? This table is from DDCS' own business plan

2. Butterfly Wonderland is a private company and does not release its numbers, according to Marketing Director Ran Nishinky in a conversation we had on August 14. Where is Sam's number of 500,000 BW attendees from? 

Sam has been using these numbers for weeks. We called these falsehoods out on 8-15 at the Tourism Development Comm.... We've been calling them out for almost six weeks. Is Sam lying, or did she make an inexcusable mistake that could cost the City millions?  We sent Campana and City Council an email asking for clarification of these questions, and received no response.

 

The Closer You Look, The Worse The Plan Gets
 

Attendance by itself is only the tip of the revenue story. More relevant is PAID attendance, and it paints a bad picture. According to the DDCS business plan (pages VIII-6 and C-8) the Desert Edge is projecting PAID attendance of 217,260 in a stabilized year, 36% more than the Desert Botanical Garden's 160,000. 

Desert Edge is planning to allow all Scottsdale students to come for free, and non-Scottsdale students to pay $6.00 each. The Botanical Gardens used to charge all students $10, and LOST money on each one, per Ken Schutz the Executive Director. The Botanical Garden has just changed their pricing schedule to eliminate both Senior and Student discounts because they lost so much money. DDCS has not learned from the experience of its nearest comp. The DBG is now charging every one who comes through the gate -- adults $24.95 (Desert Edge $15-$17.50) and children age 3-12 $12.95 (Desert Edge $11). 

Desert Edge claims it will have 36% more paid attendance than the Botanical Garden, on 50% less total attendees paying lower ticket prices. The Garden in 2016 received only 24% of its revenues from admissions, 12% from memberships, and a whopping 48% from contributions, grants and special events. Campana claims the DDC will only need 27% from fundraising.  


 

If You Can't Dazzle Them with Brilliance, Baffle Them with BS


DDCS again flew their $118,650 Business Plan Consultant out to Phoenix. And, he again seemed to talk awkwardly in circles, while not talking numbers. His pitch continues to be "That's gold Jerry, gold!!"

Mayor Lane, a former accountant, grilled him on revenue vs. loss. He was unable to convincingly answer how the DDC won't be a burden on taxpayers. Campana offered some fuzzy logic about how the need for fundraising will make them more successful, but she never explained how their revenue projections don't end up in the red. 

Watch the video and draw your own conclusions. Do you believe in this business plan?

VIDEO LINK

As the Council meeting went on, and majority support for the DDC was not to be found, Milhaven, Korte and David Smith pushed harder to block a vote. Linda Milhaven chided us about democracy while she willfully ignores public feedback and the law. What was more awkward: Milhaven, the Wells Fargo banker, doubling-down and calling her opponents "terrorists", or, whining about people choosing to speak with their dollars?

Again, watch for yourself please!

VIDEO LINK  [EDITOR'S NOTE: Councilwoman Milhaven has no idea that we live in a Republic. Maybe that is the problem.  But while she is correct that citizens can round up $thousands and collect signatures to put this on the ballot, the truth is the City Council can just refer it to the ballot in the first place.  It's a scam that she or they think it is "their duty" to vote alone to build this unwanted project.  Scottsdale residents do not want it and they know it which is why they won't refer it to the owners of the property - the voters.]

Dont Stop Believin'
 

A year ago Campana and Milhaven were confident the bulldozers would be fired up by November. All of your emails, donations, and attendance at meetings has made it clear the majority of citizens DO NOT WANT the DDC, and moved Jim Lane to support a vote. Take action and be heard! We deserve a vote on this project using OUR money in OUR Preserve.
 
Council: Put the DDC to a Vote
Donate To Our Lawsuit

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Replies to This Discussion

Not being familiar with the issue, I was curious as to just what did happen, i.e., "Voters Win Big." But the article didn't say! It rambled on and on but never got closer to explaining the headline than a "9-26 Workstudy," whatever that was. Traditional news stories develop news deductively, meaning they tell you what happened, then fill in on the details. But this story is all inductive, giving info first on its way to revealing the main point, which is not at all apparent....

Let me see if I can explain it to you.  See, the voters in Scottsdale voted to tax themselves to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars over the years. It was to pay for a lot of land to be preserved. So the voters own the land. Some of the lefties on the Council are trying to wrangle a vote among themselves to grab that PRESERVE property to build a disney land type tourist attraction. It's in a residential neighborhood. The people don't want it but the council has already spent about a million dollars on "studies." The council is trying to trick the crowd that they are duty bound to give away their land. They are refusing to put it up for vote like the people want. 

But I guess the message is less important to you than the information's presentation. But you see, these are grassroots people up against high dollar developers who fund the campaigns of the progressives on the council.  You want them to be journalists but they aren't. They are just sincere every day people with jobs and kids and stuff.  But so am I so I have no problem understanding just what is written.

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